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Another Roadside Attraction - Titanic, The Experience

Titanic, The Experience
8445 International Drive, Orlando 32819
(877) 410-1912; (407) 248-1166

Admission: Adults $17.95, children (6 to 12) $12.95
Hours: Daily 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: In the Mercado shopping and dining complex

Fans of the movie Titanic (and they are legion) will welcome the opportunity to visit this extremely well-done evocation of the most famous cruise ship in history. The exhibition takes the form of “guided tours” that depart every half hour or so and are led by actors representing historical characters, from the designers of the Titanic to crew members and passengers aboard the ship’s ill-fated maiden voyage.

Among the highlights of the tour are re-creations of staterooms and other areas of the ship. And if the grand staircase looks smaller than the one in the film, that’s because this one is accurate; the filmmakers took some liberties and made the staircase higher and broader. Then there are the artifacts, including actual chinaware, deck chairs, and life jackets from the ship. If you’re in the right mood, these can be rather chilling. And some visitors may get a few goose bumps from seeing a costume worn by Leonardo himself in the movie.

But the real goose bumps come from the boarding passes you are handed at the start of your voyage into history. Each one bears the name of an actual Titanic passenger. At the end of the “voyage” you can consult a memorial wall and learn whether or not you survived. The historical character-guides handle their roles extremely well, giving equal time to historical trivia (like the fact that the ship’s linoleum floors were the height of luxury at the time) and the somber human drama of the ship’s tragic end.

Tickets are purchased at a sort of steamship office near the International Drive entrance to the Mercado. (Dollars off coupons are readily available.) Tickets in hand, you proceed to the Mercado’s inner courtyard where you wait for the next “departure.” The attraction’s grand staircase has become a popular backdrop for weddings. For more information, visit www.titanicweddings.com

Nearby: Ripley’s Believe It or Not, SeaWorld, Train Land, WonderWorks.

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